9 out of 10 Americans say they’re exhausted by political polarization and looking for a way out. In response to the current culture of contempt, StoryCorps’ One Small Step is an effort to help mend the fraying fabric of our nation–one conversation at a time.
Piloted by StoryCorps in 2018 and launched in 2021, One Small Step brings strangers together for a 50-minute conversation about their lives, not politics. Each conversation is moderated by a trained facilitator and with participant permission, interviews are archived at the Library of Congress. A very small number of interviews are edited into short audio and animated stories that showcase the impact of the program. One Small Step is based on contact theory, which states that a meaningful interaction between people with opposing views can help turn “thems” into “us-es”. By talking about who we are as people, rather than our differences, One Small Step reminds us to see beyond labels to our shared humanity. To date, 2,000 people in 40 states across the country have recorded a One Small Step interview.
One Small Step Anchor Communities
Currently, Fresno is one of four Anchor Communities chosen to lead this work and show the rest of the country what it means to have the courage to listen. If you are interested in applying to be matched for a conversation, click the button below.
Radio Station Hubs
Each year, StoryCorps partners with six public radio stations who offer their own One Small Step program: facilitating, recording, and sharing conversations between community residents. For more information on this year’s Hubs locations, visit takeonesmallstep.org.
StoryCorps Founder and President Dave Isay remarked, “In the coming years, our hope is that One Small Step will convince America that it is our patriotic duty to listen to people with whom we disagree and to have the courage to see the humanity in others.”
We are currently seeking community partners from a range of political backgrounds who can help us make One Small Step as successful as possible in [ANCHOR COMMUNITY].* If you are interested in leveraging the power of your own organization or resources to help raise awareness of One Small Step locally, please email email@example.com.
To learn more about One Small Step, visit takeonesmallstep.org.